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Saturday, February 26, 2011

My Book - The Falcon

I know I've talked about my book a lot, and as I have stated before, books are pretty much my life. So, I thought I would take the opportunity to post about my book... only I have trouble talking about my book because I want everyone to read it for themselves, and be surprised rather than have me describe it from beginning to end. 'Cuz ya know, once I get talking, it's hard to shut me up!

So, rather than describe my book, I decided to post a chapter as a preview so that y'all can read it and decide for yourselves if you want to read it. (Apparently I am channeling my southern past tonight as I type, lol!)

Chapter 1

“Happy Birthday!” Were the words Dantaelian awoke to, she smiled.
“Good morning father.” It was a ritual they performed every year.
“Today, you are sixteen. How does it feel to be sixteen, my love?”
“It feels marvelous,” she replied, rewarding her father with a hug and a kiss. “Even though my true birthday is not for a month and a half.”
Richard smiled, and handed his daughter a rectangular box. There were no secrets between the two of them. “Open it.”
Dantaelian eagerly opened the box, and gasped. “Father! They’re beautiful!”
Richard watched as she removed her presents from the box. They were a matching set of daggers. One was 11” in total, one was 7”, and the last was 4”. He held up the longest of the three.
“This one shall fit perfectly strapped to your inner thigh, this one is for your forearm, like so,” Richard demonstrated by strapping the dagger, in its sheath, to Dantaelian’s forearm. The hilt of the dagger rested against the inside of her wrist, and the tip fit perfectly so that when her arm was bent, it lay snugly in the crook of her arm. “And this last one is a bosom dagger.”
Dantaelian laughed. “I’ve known all of that since I was 5!”
“Yes, I know, you’ve learned a great deal from me, but that doesn’t mean I can’t remind you if I feel like doing so,” he said affectionately.
“Of course not.” Dantaelian smiled.
“I have a surprise for you, Dantaelian. I’m bringing you to see the King.”
Dantaelian sat quietly for a few moments trying to decide whether or not this was good news.
“I am unsure I wish to meet my grandfather,” she responded finally.
“I understand if this causes you anxiety, but remember, as far as everyone else is concerned, you are my natural daughter, and therefore the King is your uncle.” Richard placed a hand comfortingly over Dantaelian’s. “And besides, the real reason I’m bringing you to court with me is not to meet His Pretentiousness, but to aid me in fulfilling a contract.”
“You mean it?” Dantaelian asked eagerly.
“Of course. It’s about time you had some hands on training,” Richard explained.
“What does Margaret think about this?”
“Just because I saved Lady Margaret from an attempted murder, and made her my wife, does not mean that she knows everything. I’m sure she’ll be far too excited by the chance to visit court to question my motives behind the trip,” Richard answered. He thought back to the day he had been forced, by Edward, to pay a visit to Adam on one of Adam’s birthdays. (Edward hadn’t wanted to be around the sadistic ass by himself, and had dragged Richard along “for moral support”. The coward!)
They had just put in a sufficient appearance, when they were informed that the weather had taken a violent turn, causing them to remain the night. After they had retired to their rooms, Lady Margaret, a fellow reluctant guest, became lost on the way to her mother’s chamber, accidentally witnessing Adam performing a few acts of extreme depravity.
She fled the scene, as any sane person would, barely managing to stay ahead of Adam’s brutes. This caused Richard to step out of his chamber to investigate what sounded, to his skilled ears, to be a chase.
Richard grabbed Margaret as she rounded the corner, and swung her into his chamber, instantly shutting the door behind them. The confused would-be killers retreated, causing Adam to howl in frustration.
He talked with Margaret, and they came to an agreement. If she would never admit to witnessing the heinous acts, he would ensure that she remained alive.
The next morning Richard approached Lady Margaret’s over-bearing mother, and said to her: “My Lady, please forgive me, for last night, while you slept soundly in your bed, I tricked your lovely daughter into mine. You see, at the time, I had no intention of doing anything more than using her for a night’s entertainment, but this morning, when I awoke atop the beautiful Margaret, I discovered that I could not part with her, for the Lady has stolen my heart.”
Richard fully expected to be slapped by the flabbergasted woman, provided Margaret didn’t do so first, for had just ruined her reputation without warning her first.
Edward, eager to avoid what promised to be a nasty disaster, speedily issued a royal decree engaging the couple. Thereby soothing the ruffled feathers of the Lady’s distraught mother. Her reason for dragging Margaret to Adam’s had been to see her married to the King’s brother, and it made no difference to her which one.
To Richard’s surprise, he’d discovered over the years that he truly did love Margaret, and that she completed his little family nicely. Sadly, she hadn’t been able to give him more children.
Nonetheless, there were many things he kept from his wife. He knew she had figured out, by the way he raised his daughter, that he had a deadly secret life, but they had an understanding between them. She did not ask, and he did not tell.
Richard came out of his reverie to the realization that he was staring at his naked daughter. Mind you, he was wandering down memory lane, and did not see her, but it embarrassed him that she would think he stared at her so.
“Why father, you’re blushing!” Dantaelian teased. “Could it be that you have finally noticed how many curves I’ve developed?”
Richard quickly covered his eyes as they began to traverse those exact curves. “I finally understand why men would rather have sons. It’s very hard to discover, quite suddenly, that your daughter has grown into a woman. Especially when she has as many charms as you, my dear.”
“I bet now you wish you had groomed me to be a properly modest, brainless twit. Yet, it’s like you always say, an assassin endangers his own life when he allows himself to be ruled by things like propriety and modesty. Always keep a cool head, and a cocky tongue, and you will be able to waltz through even the most dire of situations,” Dantaelian recited.
“You are too apt a pupil, although I don’t seem to recall the part about the cocky tongue,” Richard remarked as he removed his hand from his eyes.
“Really? Hmm, I must have made that part up. Now, if you are done being embarrassed by the discovery of my new developments, could you please help me with this strap? The way it is situated makes it difficult to tighten it sufficiently enough to hold it in place.” Dantaelian pointed to the dagger she was lashing to her thigh.
“Isn’t it amazing how a leather worker can design a thigh sheath that molds to a woman’s leg perfectly, but he can’t seem to understand that the strap should be pulled towards the front, not the back of the leg?” Richard asked, finding that the conversation helped him to concentrate on the task at hand rather than his sudden urge to lock his daughter away from the world.
“Yes, well, since a thigh sheath is almost exclusively used by women, the leather worker probably made the strap difficult on purpose. After all, he probably helps the majority of his clients fasten that very same difficult strap,” Dantaelian replied. She then sensed her father’s discomfort over his newfound fierce protectiveness.
She smiled, and tried to set his mind at ease. “Father, you know as well as I do that I can take care of myself. You have seen to it that I continually train with the foremost experts in weaponry, and fighting techniques. Why do you now worry so about me?”
“Until now, I have always thought to myself: ‘Richard, you have nothing to worry about. Your daughter, unarmed, is more deadly than 10 trained soldiers. No man will ever be able to lay a finger upon her.’ However today, I have realized that you are growing up, and there will come a day when some handsome young man will catch your eye, and you will let him lay not just a finger on you, but his whole hand, among other body parts.” Richard explained.
“So… What you are saying is that you would prefer it if I were attracted to women?” Dantaelian goaded.
Richard burst out in shocked laughter. “You know, there may be some truth behind that saying of yours, your tongue does seem to be rather cocky!” He remarked as he tackled his beloved child, wrestling her to the ground. This was a favorite pastime of theirs, a way of bonding playfully when so much of their activities together were serious in nature.
“What do the two of you think you are doing?” Margaret asked loudly.
“Oh come now Margaret, Dantaelian may be growing up, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still wrestle every now and then.” Richard pointed out.
“I realize that your relationship is much closer than that of most fathers and daughters, but for dear Jezlyn’s sake, Richard! Do you know what people would say if they discovered any man on the ground with his naked daughter?!” Margaret questioned sternly. Neglecting to mention that Richard's robe had come undone, exposing him. A fact Dantaelian had been using to her advantage by using the sash to bind his feet.
“Egads! It seems I had forgotten that detail!” Richard exclaimed in surprise. He tried to stand, and tripped over his bound feet. Dantaelian would have helped him, but she was curious about something.
“You mean to tell me that there are actually men out there who would look upon their naked daughters with lust?” She asked Margaret.
“Unfortunately, my dear, there are a great many such men, and many others who are even more depraved than that,” Margaret answered, shuddering as she briefly recalled witnessing such a man performing such an act.
“Well, that is not a pleasant thought,” Dantaelian remarked dryly.
“No it is not,” Margaret agreed. “Now let us remove those so that you can get dressed. We need to go shopping, for one must look resplendent if one is going to visit the King.”
“They are not coming off!” Father and daughter insisted in unison.
“That’s absurd! Why would anyone, let alone a 16 year old girl, need to walk about wearing weapons hidden in their clothing?”
“Mostly so that she can become used to doing so, but also to have them on hand should she need to fend off any over-zealous suitors.” Richard grinned.
“Honestly! You would think that after 3 years of marriage, I would understand you better, but I must confess that each day you manage to baffle me more than the day before! All right then, off you go. I would like to see Dantaelian wearing something more than weapons. After all, I did promise my favorite dress-maker that I would come spend enough coin in her shop today to buy her a house, and allow her to retire a wealthy woman,” Margaret said as if this were not news that could cause a fatal heart attack.
Richard forced himself to breathe when he realized that the spots he was seeing were caused by a lack of oxygen. “Good news Darling! I’ve just decided to join your shopping expedition.”
“How wonderful!” Margaret replied in a tone that suggested she thought the idea was exactly the opposite.
Later that day, Richard wished he’d had the good sense to stay home. When he had mentioned to Margaret that they were going to visit court for a week, he had no idea that Margaret’s small comment of: “Well then, I guess Dantaelian and I are going to have to buy a few new dresses in which to impress the King,” directly translated into 21 fabulously expensive gowns for each of his beautiful women.
“Margaret, darling, don’t you think you’re overdoing it just a tad? After all, we may not even stay a whole 7 days.”
“Richard! How dare you call this overdoing it? The King is your brother. Your mother was Queen Consort, and even though your father was not a king, he was the brother of a king! That made him a prince, that makes you a prince, and most importantly of all, that makes Dantaelian a princess! Now, seeing as how the King’s wife, Prince Adam’s wife, and your first wife all perished in childbirth, the kingdom will look to Dantaelian as their leading lady. Perhaps also myself in some small way.
“WE WILL LOOK THE PART!!! Am I understood?” Margaret explained loudly to her gaping husband.
Richard exchanged a knowing glance with his daughter, who appeared to be trying very hard not to laugh. Little did Margaret know that there was so much more truth to her statement than she could possibly suspect.
“Well, since you put it that way, darling, how could I possibly argue?” Richard retreated to a corner to watch the proceedings, and not be underfoot. Try as he might, he could not stop himself from flinching as each gown was designed, for at this rate, each dress may just cost him his weight in gold!


2 comments:

  1. Yep, there are typos. Let's just say that I am working hard to ensure that if I actually get another book published, it will have less typos in it, lol!
    :-)

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